Top Fives

Mystery Ink polled over 50 fiction writers, reviewers and other assorted
readers, asking them to name their five favorite books they read during the
year. A list of those, well, lists are up at their website.  T. Jefferson Parker’s CALIFORNIA GIRL,  Scott Phillips COTTONWOOD and Ken Bruen’s THE GUARDS show up a lot. Here’s my list of five.

My brother Tod’s LIVING DEAD GIRL also shows up in a couple of the  lists…including this mention, from author Thomas Perry:

Dead Girl
by Tod Goldberg — Probably the most skillful and unusual
piece of crime fiction by a young writer I’ve read in years.

If I were to expand my list to include, say, the top ten books I read this year, it would also include:

  • Larry McMurtry’s four Berrybender novels (which I think of as one book spread out over four volumes).
  • Frederick Manfred’s  The Scarlet Plume.
  • Paul Quarrington’s Fishing with My Old Guy
  • Dan J. Marlowe’s One Endless Hour
  • Lawrence Block’s Hitman novellas and short stories (which I also think of as one book. I thought the novel he wrote with the character, though, was rather weak).

That’s not to say I didn’t read a lot of other great novels this year, including many listed by others at Mystery Ink,  but these are the ones that will stick with me for some time to come.

3 thoughts on “Top Fives”

  1. Hi Lee,
    Well it has been quite a year…
    In no particular order:
    COTTONWOOD by Scott Phillips.
    RED JUNGLE by Kent Harrington – a true masterpiece
    TWO-WAY SPLIT – Al Guthrie
    THE BIG BLIND – Ray Banks
    SECRET DEAD MEN – Duane Swierczynski
    CHEAPSKATES – Charlie Stella
    EARTHQUAKE WEATHER – TErrill Lankford
    MONKOLOGY – Gary Phillips
    Anything by Bruen
    I didn’t include Tod’s book, because I read it last year. I’m still waiting on a new Tod book.
    I know that is more than 10, but this was a great year. My TBR pile contains 50 more books to read.

  2. Your wait will soon be over, Aldo — my short story collection The Last Time We Never Met will be released in September…and check your email box for another…
    And getting picked by Thomas Perry makes me feel like a little kid on Christmas.
    My top 5 that I read this year (and later, I’ll print my top 10 books released this year in my column in the Mercury…the top 2 of which are the top 2 here):
    You Remind Me of Me by Dan Chaon
    Cottonwood by Scott Phillips
    Paris Trout by Pete Dexter
    And The Dead Shall Rise by Steve Oney
    The Facts of Life by Graham Joyce (I don’t know anyone else who has read this, but I sure did love it.)


Leave a Comment